The Exploration Place The Electronic Forest Living Landscapes

Building on earlier ideas

Jack Pine regrowth Lodgepole Pine regrowth after burn of 30 years earlier along trail to Tom Creek from Tatla Lake - 1914

In the late 1960s, people with different interests in the land started challenging the awarding of logging permits. Bill Young and Marg Nicholls of the BC Forest Service in Prince George and Roger Goodlad, who headed Fish & Wildlife, decided to see where the conflicts were. They took a map and indicated where there were logging areas. They added a transparent overlay which showed critical wildlife habitats and ranges. Then the provincial Lands Branch added an overlay that showed where people wanted waterfront lots or businesses. People involved in agriculture added overlays that showed where the best land for farming was and where ranchers wanted to expand grazing. Soon, the provincial Mines Branch added an overlay of their interests, too.

This system of illustrating a variety of land uses was called “the folio system” because the overlays for specific areas were stored in folios.

Surprisingly, over about 80% of the area there were relatively few conflicts. And so planners in northern British Columbia adopted a clever and less controversial way of making decisions based simply on how people actually use the forest.

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